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Sports News

World number one Johnson to skip Tokyo Olympics

(Reuters) - World number one Dustin Johnson confirmed on Saturday he did not put his name forward for a spot on the U.S. team for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics and will instead focus on the PGA Tour.

FILE PHOTO: Feb 20, 2021; Pacific Palisades, California, USA; Dustin Johnson hits from the second hole tee box during the third round of The Genesis Invitational golf tournament at Riviera Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

Johnson, who said he had not given the Olympics much thought, did not sign up to be included in the pool of golfers seeking one of four possible berths.

Up to four players from a country can qualify for the Summer Games provided all four are in the top 15 of the world rankings after the U.S. Open in June.

There are currently 11 Americans, including Johnson, in the top 15.

“I actually didn’t really ever decide whether I was going to play or not, I just didn’t sign up,” explained Johnson following his third round at the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Saturday.

“It’s right in the middle of a big stretch of golf for me, so that was the reason I was kind of waffling on it a little bit.

“It’s a long way to travel, and I think WGC is the week right after it.

“The British is a couple weeks before it. It’s a lot of travelling at a time where it’s important for me to feel like I’m focused playing on the PGA Tour.”

The Olympic golf tournament starts on July 29 just 11 days after the final round of the British Open at Royal St. George.

The PGA Tour picks up again in the United States four days after the golf gold is awarded with the $10.5 million WGC FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis.

Right on the heels of that event are the FedEx Cup playoffs, won by Johnson last year, followed by the Ryder Cup.

With that crammed schedule Johnson felt something had to give and for him it was a shot at an Olympic medal.

“I think if there was a little more time, especially if you weren’t trying to fly right from Tokyo to Memphis and play WGC, yeah, I obviously definitely would have thought about it a lot more,” said the reigning Masters champion.

“If there was a little more space between there for sure.”

Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto. Editing by Toby Davis

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